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Re: Origin of Proof is in the Pudding

Posted by Bob on May 30, 2000

In Reply to: Origin of Proof is in the Pudding posted by cathi barrett on May 30, 2000

: Origin of Proof is in the Pudding

Proof in this case means "ultimate test." To "prove" used to mean to test, a meaning which survives in a limited number of usages. This is one: it literally means you can show me a wonderful recipe, and tell me about your fine ingredients, but ultimately, the test is in the thing itself, the actual results. The other proverb where this sense of "prove" survives is in the "exception that proves the rule." That is, an exception is the ultimate test of a rule. If you can find an exception to an otherwise iron-clad rule*, and it is clearly an exception, the rule stands. *E.g., "Never eat in a place called Mom's," or "Never let a Texan order the wine."